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When a couple first gets married and begins building a life together, divorce is often the last thing on their minds. The reality, however, is that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, at which point, couples are required to grapple with a series of difficult issues, one of which is how to divide the property they’ve acquired over the course of the marriage. In Michigan, divorcing couples must divide all marital property in an equitable manner. This doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split, but rather that the property must be divided in a way that is fair to both parties. At Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., our St. Clair Shores property division lawyers have extensive experience helping individuals defend their best interest in property division cases. If you’re facing a divorce, call us today to schedule your free consultation.
Marital assets are defined as all property, including debts, acquired by either spouse after the marriage takes place. This means that generally speaking, the date of purchase or receipt of an asset determines whether it qualifies as marital or non-marital property. Separate property, on the other hand, is usually allowed to remain in the sole possession of the original owner.
In Michigan, an engagement ring is considered a conditional gift and must be returned if the condition, meaning marriage, is not met. This means that engagement rings should be returned to the purchaser, regardless of who may be at fault for ending the relationship, if no marriage takes place. Wedding bands, which are often exchanged during the wedding ceremony itself, are considered an interspousal gift, and will most likely remain in the possession of the person who received it.
Unfortunately for some people, this is true even if the wedding band was a family heirloom. The only exception to this rule is if the parties entered into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement providing that the ring will be returned to the giver in the event of divorce or one party’s death.
Determining whether property is considered marital or nonmarital can become contentious, but property division can also become complex for other reasons, even when the divorce is relatively amicable. Those can include (but certainly aren’t limited to):
You have the right to a fair resolution to the legal issues surrounding your divorce, whatever the cause. To consult with an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer about the complex property division issues in your divorce case, please contact Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. You can request a free consultation by calling our office or sending us an online message today.
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